November 22, 1963: A Terrible Day for America

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Health Editor’s Note: On my birthday, 55 years ago, we experienced the travesty of JFK’s assassination. What would have been a day of birthday celebration for me in 1963, turned into a horrible experience for our nation and for me. I do not remember poetry so much as watching events  surrounding the day leading up to the assassination, the proclaimed death of JFK, and his funeral. My opinion is that if he had not been killed, we would be living in a far greater place. Another thing that has happened is that people do not forget my birthday because there is always a reminder of what day it was and what happened to our nation on that day..Carol  

How Poetry Soothed a Nation in Mourning for John F. Kennedy

by Alice George/Smithsonian.com

On that unsettling day 55 years ago this month, the nation began a pageant of tears. President John F. Kennedy was dead of an assassin’s bullet.

Schoolchildren were stunned to see strict and intimidating teachers weeping in the hallways. A Greenwich, Connecticut, mail carrier reported meeting a long line of sobbing housewives as he made his way from house to house. People lined up in front of appliance store windows to watch the latest news on a row of televisions. Before the four-day weekend had ended, more than a million had taken an active role in saying farewell to the president, and millions more had formed an invisible community as television linked living room to living room and brought almost every American within a big tent infused with unsettling questions.

Dazed citizens struggled to regain their equilibrium. Within minutes after gunfire stopped echoing in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza, this murder sent millions reeling, drawing them into a monumental event that would send a shock wave through the nation and create a commonwealth of grief.

In the wake of Kennedy’s death, many newspapers published poetry tied to that weekend. Subsequently, editors Erwin A. Glikes and Paul Schwaber solicited poems about the assassination.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. One last thing I wanted to add, and it may be important, is the real fact that another person was shot dead within half an hour after JFK was murdered. I do not mean to play down US president JFK murder at all, but this one is also forgotten. I am referring to the cold blood murder of Dallas Police officer J D Tippit, a person unlike the webiste on his honour, has left bread crumbs of dirty/nefarious acts on his trail. The only person I know so far who researched this murder and connect it to the autopsy of JFK is Robert Morningstar. He wrote an internet book on it, together with the links of that police officer and Dorothy Killagen. This is an interesting read but the conclusions, although tantalazing, in my view need additional data for confirmation. Maybe Mr Morningstar was onto something. VT readers and all, if interested could look onto his work and came up with their own conclusion. The fact that a standard casket (for ordinary people, not a president) arrived at Bethesda the evening/night of JFK murder was mentioned by various doctors, nurses at the naval hospital. Finally Bethesda was known for a place for 1 ticket and never return: ask James Forrestal and Senator Jospeh McCaerthy to cite a few. Then, ask yourself why after president Reagan’s assassination attempt in 1981, his family refused to let him get “treatment” there”.

  2. At the time of the assassination, I was 7 days of my 13th bd, my father used to interrupt the children’s radio programs in the week end, to listen to the BBC, this was 8am sat morning, I was so affected that I went around our very small community knocking on doors, and Im still lost till this day.
    As John Barbour has said many times, the truth won’t set you free, only action will set you free.
    I have JFK 63 personal plates on my car. Another thought, my son was born on June 8, (USS Liberty)

  3. In a speech. JFK gave a strong warning of the dark forces who were making evil plans against the entire world and was taking steps to counter some of the demons and their allies. There are some who are still in denial over the events in Dallas although the mountains of overwhelming evidence point to one conclusion. The Kennedy family never had doubts about what had happened and John’s son, JFK Jr., was entering the political arena to right the wrong.

  4. Best Birthday wishes to you Carol on this important day of remembrance. Appreciate the esoteric topics you share here. The Killing if a King “33”. “When the human race learns to read the language of symbolism, a great veil will fall before the eyes of men.”

  5. For the POB It was imperative that he be done away with, but the effect of the act was beyond their wildest expectations. They had found a way to paralyze an entire country in hours. They never forgot, and the same effect worked on 911. I was in the church of a catholic school when the prinicpal (a nun) rushed into the back of the church saying the President had been shot. This was even worse than all the air-raid drills and the long lines of tanks and missle launchers I watched head south on US1 not so long earlier.

  6. I remember the day vividly as well, as an eighth grader in Catholic school in Boston. The news came over the PA system and we assembled in the chapel to pray for his recovery: and then the prayer turned into “may he rest in peace”, which still sends chills down my spine to remember.

    I along with so many other locals had been overjoyed at his election – now, finally, “one of us” was going to straighten out this strangely contradictory WASP nation our ancestors had adopted as their own. But it was not to be.

    There are questions, many questions, about what happened in Dallas that have simply not been adequately explained. The number of coincidences and unlikely explanations certainly falls within the realm of possibility, the same way that if you flip a coin often enough it will eventually come up heads a hundred times in a row, but in real experience they are infinitely improbable.

    The stakes were enormously high in 1963 – control of the most powerful nation on earth, at a time when powerful hardliners within government passionately believed its survival was being imperiled by a young, inexperienced President. And the reality is that governmental change by political murder is the rule, not the exception, in the long sorry tale of human history.

    For me the most moving lyric tribute to JFK is the Byrds’ song “He Was a Friend of Mine”, which was released two years after his death. Incidentally, Bertrand Russell and C.S. Lewis also died that same day.

  7. We were sent home early from Holy Trinity School, the Nuns were Crying. At home I was sent to the front yard to rake leaves and I remember Mom coming outside weeping to tell me that our President had died. I was seven years old. Camelot had died but I was too young to realize it. My eyes tear up writing this; it was important. We are not recovered. On your birthaday, best to you Carol, love your work.

  8. Quote from 2017 USA Today article:
    “The Assassination Records Collection Act, passed in the wake of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-minded film JFK, required the release of all records of the assassination investigation by the 25th anniversary of the bill’s signing — Oct. 26, 2017 – unless the president decides there is a reason to withhold them. “Agencies who would like their information withheld for longer, need to file a formal appeal with the President,” the National Archives said on its website ahead of the release.” In other words all records will not be released. National Security is given as the “reason” for not fully releasing all records. Why is releasing them a risk to National Security? Just redacting a few words can totally alter the meaning of a sentence or phrase. So hiding some information can not lead to truth but even more confusion. This is wrong. It is time all records are released no matter whose Ox is gored. All Americans must demand the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from their government. Don’t we receive enough lies every day as it is?

  9. Belated birthday Ms Carol and may the Force be with you!
    On the 22nd November 2013, Here on BBC radio 2 during the afternoon, we had Jeremy Vine-a presentator- who stated that above all conspiracy theories, we shall trace out the assassination of US president JFK. Guess what people, he offered the official conspiracy theory of the Warren commission, blaming LHO alone on that murder. That is how the BBC here is celebrating 50 years of his murder! It is a disgrace! Ignoring the Assassination Records Review Board of 1972 or 1975 (?) stating that “there is a possible conspiracy…”, therefore at least 2 individuals involved in his murder. Then the movie JFK must have erased any doubt on JFK’s murder, but even though, this movie is not complete when you realise who was the producer. of that movie..Ah but that is another story and is a no going. Sorry, the late Michael Collins Piper did so thanks to his very good book I recommend: Final judgement…

  10. Compared to the Kennedy murder and your birthday, this is rather insignificant, but 56 years ago on the day of the murder, William Clay Ford bought the Detroit Lions football team. For Lions fans this is considered a local disaster because since then the Lions have been the laughing stock of the NFL, winning only one playoff game in all that time.